City Case Studies

  1. Banda Aceh, Indonesia
  2. Danang, Vietnam
  3. Faisalabad, Pakistan
  4. Guimaras-Iloilo, Philippines
  5. Naga, Philippines
  6. Pakse, Laos
  7. Palembang, Indonesia
  8. Pimpri-Chinchwad, India
  9. Xinyu, China
  10. Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Banda Aceh, Indonesia

River-based Urban Infrastructure Development and City Rehabilitation

Banda Aceh

Since the tsunami in 2004, considerable effort has been made to reconstruct the city’s damaged infrastructure. With CDIA support, an infrastructure investment prioritization exercise was carried out. For prioritized projects (a bus terminal site; a wastewater treatment and drainage facility and the rehabilitation of the Central Business District) a Pre-feasibility Study was carried out and financing options were identified. Implementation mechanisms and an institutional set-up for the implementation of the projects were also been put in place. The projects have a total investment value of 22.6 million US$ which is financed through city own resources; public private partnership; and national government financing.

Lessons learned:

  • Pre-Feasibility Studies are crucial in helping the city understand the significance of planning documents. PFS also allows the city to learn about project management, time management, and discipline in project implementation schedule, which enabled them to improve administration of their daily business.
  • Evaluation is also important in improving the planning process.
  • Make socially oriented projects economically feasible by packaging them attractive enough for private sectors.
  • Good cooperation between the city and the consultants is crucial for a successful project implementation.
  • Good communication between the Mayor and various parties (Central Government, Provincial Government, donors etc.) benefitted the planning process, coordination, networking, and promoting the city.
  • Effective capacity building enabled an improved staff capacity in project development and process.

Danang, Vietnam

Wastewater Management

Danang in Central Vietnam was voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the planet by Forbes magazine in 2005. However, the tourism sector was seriously affected by sea water pollution because thewastewater treatment of the neighboring business districts were below standards. Danang City had a combined sewerage system of wastewater and rainwater, both discharged into the sea, resulting in coastal pollution during the rainy seasons. This was especially problematic in the eastern coastal parts of the city, which had received no investments.

With help from CDIA, projects and programs for the quality of wastewater management were identified and prioritized. Specifically, the capability and treatment quality of industrial wastewater were ensured. Illegal discharges of industrial wastewater were also identified and stopped. Lastly, with the projects identified by CDIA, it was ensured that all wastes are treated according to the imposed standards to prevent excessive polluting.

Lessons learned:

  • A clear vision of investment needs on the part of the city and genuine ownership over the project of the city government greatly contributes to the success of the project.
  • Contributions, both financial resource and participation from the client city and the consultants, are vital for the success of the project. Participation in the PFS process and commitment on the part of the city, translates into active involvement and strong ownership over the process.
  • A participatory and consensual type of process in important for the project. Everyone’s views and opinions should be voiced. All agents, public sector, private sector and all other stakeholders should be consulted.

Faisalabad, Pakistan

Industrial Waste Management

The city of Faisalabad is Pakistan’s third largest industrial city. But although industrialization was abundant in the city, urban infrastructure lagged behind. Industrial wastes were poorly and very inadequately managed, which produceda considerable quantity of liquid effluent that goes untreated and uncontrolled into the overburdened drainage system and then to the rivers. The few treatment plants installed by the factories rarely worked because of financial or technical constraints. There was only one sewage treatment plant in the northern part of Faisalabad designed for the treatment of domestic sewage but it treated both domestic and industrial sewage.

The lack of urban land-use planning and ineffective policies and enforcement of waste disposal controls has created an unhealthy and environmentally and socially untenable urban environment. The poor were the most affected. People living near the drains are of particularly adversely impacted as the water is inadequate for drinking and irrigation.

CDIA provided technical assistance on projects in integrated urban environmental infrastructure covering the industrial waste management. CDIA also provided technical support in Pre-Feasibility Studies for the projects identified, namely, the enhancement of public awareness and training, extension of existing sewage treatment plant, establishing of a combined sewage treatment plant, and strengthening of waste management among industries.

Lessons learned:

  • It is prerequisite that consultants are assured to effectively gain access to local officials prior to CDIA mobilizing resources and bringing consultants on the ground. Good cooperation between the consultants and the City is absolutely critical for the CDIA to deliver on the PFS.
  • Close collaboration between government departments and consultants is most recommended. Close working together of consultants and the government constitutes to fast and easy formulation of decisions.
  • Ownership over the process of project design through active involvement of government departments from the very start is crucial
  • There should be up-front provision of data-sets agreed by a government prior to consultants’ arrival, and specific staff members within the local government must be appointed to work with consultants on processing the data towards obtaining information.

Guimaras-Iloilo, Philippines

Ferry Terminal System and Central Business District Revitalization


Iloilo City and Guimaras Island in the Philippines foster some of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the country. However, when tourists and even regular commuters flock to go and visit the place, it becomes problematic because the ferry transport system was inefficient, there were no terminals available, and illegal and unsightly structures were widespread in the port areas.

Another problem is the decay of city facilities in downtown Iloilo. The urban setup in the city includes serious informal settling, traffic congestion, and poor conditions of public infrastructure. Hence, the signing and implementation of the the Guimaras–Iloilo Ferry Terminal System and Downtown CBD Revitalization Project by the local government units of the two localities and CDIA.

The projects that have been prioritized focused on the redevelopment of the inner Iloilo City, particularly the establishing of a commercial/institutional and pedestrian street market. Also, the project focused on the development of ferry terminals on both ports.

CDIA helped the city transform the poor scenarios mentioned into ones that function fully for the benefit of the local citizens. CDIA conducted complete feasibility studies for both the projects, and assumed responsibility for the entire project documentation, bidding and linking to potential fund agencies.

Lessons learned:

  • Action plans are crucial in project management. Lack of action plans might result to wrong turns and delays in the process.
  • The project implementation process should be participative and inclusive of all playing stakeholders.
  • Criteria used in project prioritization are all arbitrary and cannot be standardized to every community. Flexibility in relation with stakeholders during consultations can lead to recognizing new opportunities.
  • A fine balance needs to be struck between transparency efforts and efforts to attract investors.
  • Unrestrained communication between city officials and consultants is essential.
  • It is crucial to initiate innovation within the institution.
  • Dynamics in the political environment have immediate consequences for a project. Understanding this dynamics between institutional is vital in minimizing the adverse consequences that might occur.
  • Longer-term engagement of the CDIA with the city might be called for when no road-map and/or adequate expertise is in place.
  • The case of Iloilo can be an example for other cities to venture in the area of PPPs. Conventional approaches constrain city governments, and the case of Iloilo proved the worth, the boldness to consider previously untried approaches.

Naga, Philippines

River Revitalization and Flood Water Management


The Naga River in the Bicol Region of the Philippines is famous for being the site of the annual Peñafrancia Festival. However, the river waters were polluted and unsafe for any use, including swimming and paddling, the traditional means during the religious fluvial parades.

Another problem experienced in Naga City is serious flooding, which results from outfall of the drainage system into the river, the banks of which were heavily developed on both sides, thus restricting discharge capacities. The Balatas dump site in Naga also contributed to the untreated flood water. During typhoons, families staying in relocation sites do not have access to clean water. Besides the flooding, there’s also a demand for river transport among citizens, which the local government positively responds to.

CDIA conducted Pre-Feasibility Studies about these problems and from which, projects were identified and prioritized. Naga City’s collaboration with the CDIA has resulted to identification of projects that include the River waters rehabilitation, drainage and flood management, solid waste management, tourism development and river transport system.

Lessons learned:

  •  The learning process that takes place in the PFS design results in awareness and greater clarity of both the logic of the stages and steps of the project design process, and of the alternative options available.
  • Capacity building requires time. Time frames such as 2 months are not sufficient to allow for meaningful opportunities for on-the-job training of city officials.
  • Participatory approach to project designing is important. Adequate conditions for bottom-up planning processes and participation mechanisms should be provided.

Pakse, Laos

Solid Waste Management


As in many other cities in Laos, Pakse is faced with key development challenges such as the conditions in the existing solid waste management system, and and the drainage and sanitation system in the city.

In Pakse, only a small portion of solid waste is collected and transported to a dump site. The uncollected waste, together with hazardous and hospital waste, remained in the urban and rural areas and were burned, indiscriminately dumped, or buried. The entire solid waste management system created environmental nuisance and pollution of soil, water, and air.

The city also experienced serious flooding due to river levels rising during wet season. It becomes more problematic because of the erosion of the river embankments. Hence, the urgent need to commence with a project to strengthen the river embankments. Drainage problems were also being faced by the city residents.

CDIA helped the city undertake a Pre-Feasibility Study that identified the projects would answer the problems that the Pakse residents are facing. The city’s collaboration with CDIA resulted in identification of these projects as extension and improvement of the solid waste management system, construction of flood-free land that can be home to Pakse citizens, and the construction of a drainage system.

Lessons learned:

  • Social and environmental impacts analysis was an important part of the process because it goes beyond outlining deficiencies, challenges, and risks. It creates a link between particular issues to be addressed, and results in concrete recommendations as part of the PFS.
  • Conduct environmental and social assessment as a baseline and a first step in identifying larger socio-economic issues.

Palembang, Indonesia

Urban Transport


With a fast-growing population and high urban density, Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, is facing challenges in the transportation sector. They need an integrated land transport system that considers the rapidly increasing use of private transport and the limited capacity of existing bridges. Roads and bridges could not keep up with these changes, therefore increasing traffic congestion and resulting to increase in air-pollution and fatal road accidents.

With support from CDIA, the city was able to undertake and conduct Pre-Feasibility Studies that helped identify the right projects for the present problems. CDIA also assisted the city in the preparation of integrated urban transport strategy, as well as the documentations and initial reports that were presented to potential investors.

Lessons learned:

  • Systematic planning process allows for adjusting investment priorities. It also accommodates the fact that not all projects identified will directly receive financing.
  • Appropriate mechanisms provide investors’ confidence. Seek synergies and foster holistic thinking about the existing and potential institutional infrastructure.
  • Problem-solving skills among staff of organizations involved in project design and implementation can be fostered through enhancing education and adopting anti-corruption measures.

Pimpri-Chinchwad, India

IMG00403-20111103-1103 - Copy

24×7 Water Supply Project

Pimpri-Chinchwad is a metropolitan area in the state of Maharashtra in India. The city had a strong and stable political leadership and administration which has modernized the city’s infrastructure and services. In water supply, the main concern was the separation of service delivery and revenue management, and pumping machinery for production. There were no standard procedures, occupational health and safety standards, or training programs to help the staff in the health sector. There was a serious shortage of full time operational staff in the the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation that can be trained, retaine, and given incentives to perform well. And internal and external communication with respect to PCMC’s plans, activities, and performance, and how this impacts citizens, was also lacking.

With CDIA’s assistance, these key issues were addressed. CDIA helped the Pimpri-Chinchwad City by conducting Pre-Feasibility Studies that identified the situation and ultimately provided solutions.

Lessons learned:

  • Substantial benefits occur when benefits of public consultation are fully understood.
  • Commitment and participation of all stakeholders involved is crucial in the project. Having well-established good relations with non-governmental organizations on the ground is highly beneficial as well.
  • There is always the possibility of facing institutional and capacity challenges.
  • Developing a longer-term infrastructure business plan fosters a process of moving away from being a public administration to being a performance-oriented and outcomes-oriented public sector organization.
  • Openness to new approaches is vital. Traditional approaches will not necessarily result in better quality of services.
  • Developing a project to a point that its presentation is persuasive enough to attract donors and appeal to decision-makers requires not only a certain level of relevant skills, but also commitment to institutional change.
  • It requires not only a certain level of skills, but also commitment to develop projects and presentations that would attract donors and project partners.
  • It is vital to ensure that there is a clear common understanding between the city and the donors and all other partners in the project.
  • Communication between the consultants and the city is vital for the success of the projects.

Xinyu, China

Flood Protection System


A prosperous city in South Eastern China, Xinyu City had problems on ecological conservation and environmental pollution arising from increasing industrial projects. The city’s collaboration with CDIA resulted in an integrated approach that addressed flood risks due to climate change, and water quality management through a hydrological lake system which would indirectly mitigate flooding by absorbing storm waters. The project has a total investment value of 306 million US$ and has been linked to ADB financing.

Lessons learned:

  • Genuine commitment to collaborative efforts in pursuing improvement of city infrastructure is crucial. Strong commitment in the city government ensures the continuity of support for the project.
  • Openness to non-conventional and long-term thinking, and allowing for adopting a broad, holistic perspective, lends otherwise lacking lenses enabling decision-makers to recognize cross-cutting issues, synergies and overlapping problems as well as solutions.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Urban Transport


The city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is known for being the hub for classical Javanese art and culture. It is also known as the second most important tourist destination next to Bali, thus resulting in a high transient population that affects greatly the transport system i.e. increased number of commuter trips and traffic congestion.

Like other expanding cities, Yogyakarta is experiencing an explosive growth in private vehicle ownership. These occurrences create challenges and problems for the existing road system as key city arterials become increasingly congested.

With the intervention of CDIA, the city government was able to develop an integrated urban transport system. CDIA also conducted pre-feasibility studies, in-depth study of the condition of the city and the transport sector, and evaluation of the needs and opportunities to help Yogyakarta formulate strategies and identify bankable investment projects in the city.

Lessons learned:

  • Good communication between the CDIA Consultant Team (CT) and the Technical Team (TT) as well as with the Transportation Agency, through both formal and informal channels, was a crucial factor in PFS preparation.
  • A participatory kind of approach that involves all project stakeholders is key to successful PFS.
  • PFS socialization and distribution roles of the technical team should have been clearer.
  • Putting efforts in collecting primary data is a good practice that should be applied without exceptions, being vital for data quality.
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